Karyes 15km (3 hours) Vatopediou is a big monastery, built like a fortress on the beach, which is situated in the middle of the eastern coast of Athos. The monastery was founded in the 10th century by Athanasios Athonitis’ students. According to tradition, the founder of Vatopediou is the emperor Megas (Great) Theodosius (4th century). Furthermore, the monastery is dedicated to the Evangelism of Virgin Mary and celebrates on March 25 and April 7. The buildings of the monastery reflect influences of many different periods of time, due to the great number of necessary repairs and renovations that had to be done. Tel. +30 23770 23219, 23343
The Monastery of Vatopedi is located on the north-eastern part of the Athos peninsula. It was built in 972, founded by the monks Athanasios, Nicholas and Antonios, all three students of Saint Athanasios the Athonite. Today’s buildings were erected during the years of the emperor Manuel the first Komnenon.
Vatopedi ranks second in the hierarchy of the monasteries. It is coenobitic (communal) and is inhabited by 80 monks (1999). To Vatopedi belongs the Greek skete of Saint Demetrios and the Russian skete of Saint Andrew (Serrai).
The whole impression is that of a fortress as it features numerous wings, towers, etc. The katholikon was built in the tenth century, and is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in accordance with the Athonite architecture. Samples of Byzantine mosaics remain, some of which were retouched in the 12th century and in 1312. Nineteen smaller chapels in addition to the katholikon lie within and outside the boundaries of the monastery. Five are in the katholikon. These of the Saint Nicholas and Saint Demetrios lie left and right of the eso-narthex, and the chapel of the Virgin of Consolation. In the monastery are the chapels of the Holy Girdle and of the Saints Kosmas and Damian.
Near the entrance of the Katholikon is the phiale and just opposite stands the refectory built in the 12th century and frescoed in 1786.
The treasury of the monastery of Vatopedi holds some of the most valuable relics: fragments of the True Cross, a part of the reed on which the sponge of vinegar was offered to Christ on the Cross and many others.
The library is rich in invaluable treasures. Among other things, 1,700 manuscripts and over 10,000 printed books.